A Season of Strength

Our vigilance and strong spirit kept our campus open. We're thankful to everyone who got us to our goal of completing the fall semester together. #BeBryantStrong

To be Bryant is to create a plan and follow through to see it succeed.
Facing many pandemic challenges, the entire Bryant University community shared a common goal to keep everyone healthy and finish the semester together. With planning, hard work, sacrifice and perseverance, we reached that goal thanks to our longstanding, close-knit community and culture of shared purpose. Together, we grew in strength and spirit.

Please help us acknowledge the extraordinary commitment that got us to this milestone by sharing a comment or reflection about the semester here.

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Messages of Thankfulness

"My sincerest thanks and admiration to our student Resident Assistants and Head Resident Assistants and to our student Orientation Leaders. Our Resident Assistants and Head Resident Assistants were on the front lines doing great work to support our students in these COVID times, and a special thank you to the Resident Assistants and Head Resident Assistants who supported the Residential Life professional staff as they worked 24/7 to support our students. To the Orientation Leaders who mentored an incoming class virutally and in person in difficult times. Their innovation, mentoring, and empathy were truly inspirational. You all have much to be proud of in really understanding what community means. I am forever grateful. - Inge"

-- Inge-Lise Ameer, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

"Thank you to the student affairs team who worked 24/7 to keep Bryant students and the larger community safe and thriving during COVID. They worked nights and weekends, never once saying we can't, always asking how can we get this done. And thank you to their loved ones for giving us so much of their time and spirit in this crisis. Thank you Health Services team, Contact Tracing Team, Testing Team, Residential Life team, DPS, SEOP team, CSLI team, PWC CDI team, VPSA Team, AMICA Center team, Fisher Center Team and Finance Team, Machtley Interfairth Center Team. Your grace, commitment, and stamina abound."

-- Inge-Lise Ameer

"As an alum and parent of a rising junior.... thank you to the Bryant leadership, faculty, and staff for implementing and maintaining your plans for in person learning. Shout out to the resilient students who had a different experience this semester but who worked together as one giant team along with faculty and staff to have a successful semester. We all have much to be thankful for. "

-- Michelle D’Ordine ‘90 P ‘23

"I’m humbled and privileged to work at an institution where tough times like a global pandemic prove to make us even stronger at Bryant. Out administration took the Spring semester and worked hard to make our Fall semester as normal as possible for our entire community.. The tireless efforts of all faculty, staff, students and administrators made this task one to remember. Planning, training, testing, innovative thinking and commitment is what made Bryant a success this semester. We are a true example of one of the leading universities in the country to have made it through. We have lots to be proud of and know that we’ve made the impact needed even during these trying times. As our Provost always says, Go books, go Bulldogs! #BryantStrong"

-- Patricia Gomez, Senior, Modern Languages Dept. (Spanish)

"I am continuously impressed with Bryant's determination, strength, and leadership as a university. Our community worked collaboratively to come back this semester healthy and stay that way to the end. I want to thank everyone involved in providing us an on campus experience this semester. "

-- Taylor Vahey

"Congratulation and thank you on an incredible first semester. As a parent of a freshman, I couldn't be more impressed with the careful thought and consideration that went into making sure that the students and staff were safe but also able to have a full semester in campus. Although not a fully normal college experience, my son came home singing the praises of Bryant and telling me how excited he is to go back. Thank you to Dr. Gittell and your leadership team. We are thrilled that our son is a Bulldog. "

-- Colleen Mulgrew

"As a parent of a freshman, I can't say thank you enough! During such a crazy and uncertain time, we were able to send our son off to college for the first time and felt he was in great hands. Thank you for providing students with a safe campus where they could experience as close to "normal" college life as possible. And great job Bryant students for doing things right and finishing the semester together on campus. You did it!! "

-- Melissa Devine

"I'm so impressed with Bryant's response to Covid. The pledge that students took, frequency of testing, quarantine protocol and communication plan were thoughtful and well executed. Although it wasn't the normal first college experience that we'd all hope for our children, it could not have been better considering the circumstances. Thank you for the passion and hard work that allowed for this to be!

Warmly, Kathleen Teehan"

-- Kathleen Teehan, parent of Freshman

"Our daughter Paris Flynn, a junior, has just completed this semester at Bryant and I cannot say enough how grateful we are to the university. At home we felt informed throughout and proud that Bryant was taking such a conscientious approach to the returning students and semester. This was to be her semester abroad but she has navigated the challenge and let down stupendously. Bryant has also been stellar in challenging the students to be self responsible. This trait will be contributing to the form of the rest of their lives. Paris was able to attend her classes for the most part , as is her optimal learning environment. The smaller classroom opportunity worked best as an option for her, just as the virtual or hybrid may have been the best choice for others. This dedication to detail and individuation says much for the universities dedication and recognition of diversity in learning styles and their commitment to providing this to the students. We are grateful and thank Bryant and all its staff.
Kaethe and Charlie Flynn "

-- Kaethe A Flynn

"Great job in these challenging times!"

-- Carol Cusson

"We are so proud of what everyone at Bryant has done to make this Fall semester a success for our Junior - it made our younger son’s decision to attend Bryant next year even easier. Go Bolldogs!"

-- Steve Hahn - Bryant Dad

"I am so proud of the people I work with, starting with the communications team which has been working around the clock since March. The entire Bryant community has risen to the challenge of making this semester the best it could possibly be for our students, despite many factors outside of our control. Our accomplishment is the result of commitment across every facet of our university. Thank you all!"

-- Liz O’Neil

"Not everything was perfect. It was hard and there were many challenges to overcome. The thing I am most proud of is how strong everyone remained during these uncertain times. The bulldog spirit never went away, and, in my opinion, it grew even stronger."

-- Ian Whitehead '22, Student Government President

"The thing about which I am most proud this semester is how the faculty and staff came together to figure out how to make in-person learning possible. Nowhere was this better exemplified than on the RTN Academic and Technology Committee. Folks on this Committee literally sacrificed most of their summers gearing up to implement the hyflex model. No task was too big or too small – they did everything from measuring classrooms, to developing a new schedule, to identifying new spaces to put students, to testing equipment, to plotting traffic flow in buildings, to figuring out a very complex room schedule.

For faculty on the Committee, this was all in addition to prepping to teach in a very different environment. And, the work of the Committee is far from over – it continues to be our “eyes and ears” on the ground, identifying issues and working to solve them in timely and efficient ways.

Rick Gorvett is on the Committee and, at one point right before the start of the semester, he said he believed the fall might be Bryant’s finest hour. I thought he was a little crazy at the time – but now I see the wisdom of his words and agree 100%."

-- Wendy Samter, Ph.D., Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

"During such trying times, I’d like to give thanks to my students, who really impressed me with their resilience and positivity this semester. They worked hard, thought deeply about course material and the world around them, and importantly, they always put their videos on! It’s amazing how uplifting human connection can be, even over Zoom."

-- Allison G. Butler, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, Director of IDEA Program

"Not everything was perfect. It was hard and there were many challenges to overcome. The thing I am most proud of is that we did not give up and faced it all together! We showed our strength and determination as a community and I know this will make us better and stronger in future."

-- Diya Das, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Business

"During the fall semester, it was incredible to see our entire campus come together during such challenging times. It was especially wonderful to see our student-athletes, coaches and staff maintain that resolute Bulldog spirit, meeting all challenges with great resilience and dedication to ensure the safety of our campus while training and succeeding academically in the classroom. Our student-athletes are leaders and great champions who wear the Black & Gold with pride."

-- Bill Smith, Director of Athletics

"I’d like to give thanks to my colleagues in the Honors Council, the faculty who spent countless hours mentoring Honors students, and the Honors staff team who went above and beyond to ensure that students would have an active and meaningful experience during this unprecedented fall semester. The commitment of the staff, faculty, and students to academic excellence will ensure that the Bryant Honors Program can continue to thrive."

-- Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Director, Bryant University Honors Program

"Before the fall semester started, I was so excited about our innovative technical and pedagogical planning that, at a meeting of the faculty, I said that if we pulled this off we would look back at fall 2020 as "Our Finest Hour." Well, we did – and it was.

Overcoming the immense challenges to an effective, mostly in-person semester sometimes seemed impossible – but we did it anyway! That’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone: students, faculty, and staff. Years from now, I’ll look back at fall 2020, and the satisfying impression on my mind will be of colleagues working together, and who stopped at nothing to do what was right.

Through much of fall 2020, we were all too busy working and implementing our plans to really fully appreciate the depth and breadth of the challenge. But every now and then, you’d sit back and realize how hard this was, for everyone: faculty, staff, and perhaps especially students. Only through the nimbleness of Bryant, the innovative spirit of the faculty and staff, and the overwhelming dedication and sense of community of our students, were we successful."

-- Rick Gorvett, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics

"I’m just so proud of the way the entire community tirelessly pulled together to successfully complete our fall semester on campus. It was a colossal team effort. People worked really, really hard, adapted beautifully, collaborated really, really well, and made personal sacrifices together to make this all happen. People who didn’t think we could do it don’t know the resiliency, dedication and spirit of the people of Bryant! And that includes faculty, staff and students."

-- Tim Paige, Vice President for Human Resources

"I learned that I am able to adapt to any situation that comes at me, and I am stronger than I thought."

-- Cade Jenkins '22

"Through this challenging time, I was able to find the silver linings in all situations, and I became more appreciative of the environment that I am lucky to call home."

-- Kathleen Bannon '21

"I take the greatest pride in trudging through and not giving up. I think because of how extensive and challenging this semester was, the greatest part is knowing how hard I worked to get to where I ended up."

-- Chelsey Richards '22

"I had a difficult time because I love consistency and having a routine. The experience taught me the importance of being flexible and adaptable in all aspects of my life."

-- Melissa Rodriguez '21

"Students have felt safe while being at school because of Bryant’s strong testing capacity, and any cases or contacts were quickly discovered before it could affect the whole community and send us home for the semester.

I think the greatest challenge of change was seeing how different this year was from my past years at Bryant. Typical student life had a 180-degree turnaround, but I think it really strengthened the relationships students had with their friends.

I learned that even in hard times, the friends you make at Bryant stay around and are always there for you."

-- Alyssa Collins '22

"This has been a challenging year, so I am very proud of the way Bryant faculty and students have risen to the occasion to maintain high academic quality. I am also more aware than ever of the contributions of Bryant staff across IT, facilities, student affairs, academic support, human resources, and every department in “the village” that play key roles in allowing faculty to do the jobs we love."

-- John W. Dietrich, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science; Chair History/Social Science Department

"Bryant's plan and efforts this semester have been outstanding. The administration has been transparent and has the best interest of the students in mind. The efforts that the administration has put in place have given us the opportunity to stay on campus, and with our weekly testing, we are able to isolate the problems and fix them quickly. The administration has done a great job in keeping the college experience alive. "

-- Zachary Zambarano '23

"I am grateful that Bryant University has put in an amazing amount of time and effort to ensure we have the resources and strategies to attend school on campus and have some interaction with our community. To help Bryant remain on campus, I knew it was important on my part to be an actively safe member by wearing my mask, socially distancing, and limiting as much contact as possible in order to protect others and prevent the spread of the virus so we could remain living on campus for the full college experience."

-- Jessica Zedros '22

"COVID-19 challenged our institutional and personal capabilities beyond comprehension, forever upending life as we knew it. Forced to innovate in times of uncertainty, our success relied on the collective power of the Bryant community. Shear grit and determination, methodical planning, and compliance with the flexibility to adapt to change allowed us to successfully complete an in-person educational experience that many others tried and failed to do. These times of distancing forced us to realize the power of human connection, highlighting that Bryant’s commitment to an in-seat and personalized education are more vital now than ever before. To say that I am proud of what we have done, what our students have accomplished, would be a vast understatement. Go Bulldogs. You are all amazing." "

-- Kirsten L. Hokeness, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Science and Technology Department

"I was told by numerous friends from my home town that I would be sent home in under a month. Due to Bryant's diligence and the effort of the community as a whole, we completed a semester with privileges that most college students around the United States do not have."

-- Faith Winslow '22

"Being on campus the whole semester hasn't come without challenges, but many people at Bryant believe we're all in this together, which has led to a very understanding and flexible community. I think everyone, from the administration to our dining workers to our students, stepped up to complete a successful in-person semester. "

-- Liam E. Fluharty '23

"I am proud to go to a school where the community cares about each other so much that they were willing to do whatever it took to stay on campus together."

-- Lauren Roth '22

"I am humbled by the level of hard work and sacrifice I witnessed across the entire Bryant community. From the administration’s vision to let us try and have an in person semester, to the faculty and staff’s tireless efforts to put everything in place to make it work, and of course the students’ adapting to the changes, accepting that not everything was perfect, and doing their part to work through it. I think we learned how to survive this fall. I hope we can focus on how to thrive in the spring."

-- Joseph Trunzo, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Psychology

"I have gained an enormous amount of appreciation for all members of the Bryant community who show their pride in our community every day. "

-- Alex Morrow '21

"Many other schools have not been able to accomplish what Bryant has done this semester, and I am very thankful every day for the opportunity to be here during my senior year. The Bryant community truly has come together, and because of that, we were still able to have a memorable college experience that most others don’t get to have right now."

-- Kaitlyn Fales '21

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